Literature, Theory, History

Hardcover | October 15, 2011

byJonathan Hart

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In this interdisciplinary work that ranges from the ancients through the Renaissance to the present, Jonathan Hart examines systems, law, theatre, nature, stereotype, otherness, authority, new historicism, deconstruction, feminism, reading, interpretation, poetry, and poetics.  The book considers crucial topics and controversies involving the field of Comparative Literature, including subjectivity, Bartolomé de Las Casas, and globalization. Regardless of the period, this towering study assumes that meaning, genre, character, language, and structure are principal matters for debate. 

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In this interdisciplinary work that ranges from the ancients through the Renaissance to the present, Jonathan Hart examines systems, law, theatre, nature, stereotype, otherness, authority, new historicism, deconstruction, feminism, reading, interpretation, poetry, and poetics.  The book considers crucial topics and controversies involv...

Jonathan Hart is a professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta. He has published eight books with Palgrave Macmillan, most recently, Shakespeare: Poetry, History and Culture (2009) and Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (2011).  He is also a poet and his most recent works are Dreamwork (2010) and Musin...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:278 pages, 8.61 × 5.69 × 0.88 inPublished:October 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230113397

ISBN - 13:9780230113398

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Table of Contents

Comparative Literature * Comparing Empires * Literature and Culture * Otherness and Authority * Historicism, Feminism, and the Poetics of Difference * Poetics and Poetic Worlds * Literature, Theory, and After * Between History and Poetry * Translating Las Casas * Comparison, Conquest, and Globalization

Editorial Reviews

"With respect for the 'messiness' of the text - another name for its irreducibility to other purposes - Hart considers the migratory history of literary studies in our time. His praise of comparison as a way of seeing lifts the discussion out of interdepartmental debates, and his history of the worldwide career of Las Casas demonstrates the unpredictable force of texts engaging with otherness." - Haun Saussy, University of Chicago and author of The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic and Great Walls of Discourse "Hart (English and comparative literature, Univ. of Alberta, Canada) gives a history of comparative literary theory as affected by post-colonialism and globalization. He discusses the theory of the literature of conquest and the history of criticism as it examines race and "othering." He considers the key to his book to be "poetics and rhetoric, representation and the art of persuasion" and examines poetry in detail because of the coding the poetic voice uses and that voice's indirect relationship with the reader. Hart insists that interpretation is as old as Plato. Many (David Lodge comes to mind) would argue that criticism exists to support certain incestuous circles (English literature departments arguing for their own existence). However, Hart sees theory as a way of understanding poetry, theater, and literature. He asks for close reading and an understanding of the ways global literature speaks to other work and across cultures; he looks for reading and understanding to work in the context in which the work was written. In other words, he argues that before criticizing a writer or a work of literature, the reader must know history. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty" - Choice